Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Photo Opportunities

I'm always surprised, amused and delighted to find my own backyard is on many occasions the best location for birding and taking photos.  It just happened again today, I am sitting on our patio having a cup of tea and I look up and see this juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk in our neighbors tree.  This is after just spending numerous days driving to good locations at a number of parks and walking many miles of trails, and essentially not coming up with any good photographs. In terms of time and effort the success ratio is probably highest in my backyard.

Sharp-shinned Hawks belong to a small group of hawks in the genus Accipiter.  Another member of this genus is the Coopers Hawk.  Both are very similar in size and looks, which always leads to taking a closer look.  I believe this hawk has the characteristics of a squarer tail, smaller head, broader breast stripes, and thinner legs compared to a Cooper's Hawk.  The beauty of this problem is all the observations, photographs and research of guide books all take place in the comfort of my own home.


  1. Great photo from your backyard hotspot! Good information, my first thought was Cooper's hawk. I appreciate your all investigative work for our benefit.

  2. I can visualize that beautiful backyard habitat you & Jeanette so masterfully designed. Great story & great photo!